Final Thoughts On Joe Paterno

I have seen lots of individuals, who were considered positive role models, let us down. The names of Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, OJ Simpson and Michael Phelps come to mind. To be honest, it really hurts to see Joe Paterno on that list. For me personally, it’s difficult to see a legend, who did so many great things, go out like this. It seems that he exemplified all of the traits covered in this curriculum for a very long time.  It also goes against my belief to throw someone under the bus for one lapse in judgment unless it’s something terrible and/or done with malice. Yet, I know many feel that his handling of the alleged abuse case at Penn State meets that criteria… which is why I will not provide a long commentary on this matter. Instead I ask you to watch the short video and then discuss it yourself. Just keep in mind that there are no right answers, just opions based on emotion and perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1zK80YIuyw

What is Joe Paterno’s legacy?
Should the media have been so quick to judge? Do you think some of them felt bad about their harsh comments when he died?
Did it make you sad that his life ended in this bitter way or was it Karma? Poetic Justice?
How do you balance all the good in his life with his lack of action on the abuse scandal?

Comments 0

  1. I am a 1983 graduate of Penn State. In the spring of that year found myself with Coach Paterno on the empty back street of a quiet corner of campus. Coach Paterno was walking with his head down obviously deep in thought. As we crossed paths, I hazarded a “Hi coach”. The man came to a complete stop, turned fully around, and giving me his full attention asked “How’s it going?” We exchanged pleasantries and each went our separate ways. I came away forever impressed by the graciousness of a great man.

    There are chapters in your book entitled “Loyalty” and “Responsibility”. I suspect Joe Paterno’s loyalty to his friend and fellow coach made the accusation unfathomable. Yet, as responsibility demanded, he reported the accusation. Others, in their supposed virtue, would have had him accept the accusation as fact and go beyond the requirements of the law of his state. If the worst is true, I pray that Coach Paterno has been forgiven. If not, may God have mercy on the souls of his attackers.

    P Fogarty

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